Researchers at Piper Jaffray, including analyst Gene Munster, polled 236 people in line for the iPad 2 when it went on sale last Friday. Launches are usually driven by users upgrading, like last year's launch of the iPhone 4, when just 23 percent of handset buyers were new to the iPhone platform.
But Piper Jaffray's poll found that more than two-thirds of first-day iPad 2 buyers are new to the iPad, suggesting that Apple's touchscreen tablet is attracting many new users with its second-generation model.
"We continue to believe that Apple sold 400k-500 iPad 2s over the weekend," Munster wrote. We note that the weekend number for iPad 2 is essentially a launch day total because stock across retailers was mostly depleted late Friday and not replenished during the weekend."
Munster's numbers are largely in line with other analysts, who expect Apple to sell at least a half-million of the iPad 2 in its launch weekend. At least one more bullish analyst has said investors shouldn't be surprised if Apple sells a million.
Munster has forecast sales of 5.5 million iPads in the March quarter, a number he said is now "likely conservative" based on strong demand for the iPad 2 in both stores and online. On Saturday, Apple was forced to delay the estimated ship date to as long as a month for new iPad 2 orders via its online store.
The Piper Jaffray survey also found that 47 percent of buyers were purchasing a 3G model, with a $130 premium over the Wi-Fi-only counterparts.
A total of 41 percent surveyed opted for the 32GB model, which was up from the 32% that bought the 32GB capacity of the first iPad. And the 64GB model also gained share, suggesting that the average selling price of the iPad 2 may be greater than the first iPad.
Of those in line on Friday, 65 percent of respondents said they owned an iPhone, 24 percent said they owned a Kindle, though only 6 percent intend to read with their iPad. A more popular use for the iPad 2 is using apps and playing games, which 17 percent said they intend to do.